It is frustrating sometimes how Thanksgiving gets no love. Everyone goes straight from Halloween to Christmas, two holidays that asking for something, instead of being thankful for what you have is the trend.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, not to mention Autumn being my favorite season. The two just go hand in hand.
I decorate my door and my table for the Thanksgiving season with pumpkins, scarecrows, leaves, acorns, and gourds. There are so many wonderful activities to do with your children using these items, and they double as table settings.
My neighborhood does something fantastic as well. They pass out brown paper bags to each household and ask that families fill the bags with food items to give to other families who are in need of food for their Thanksgiving meal. This food is also donated to food drives and food pantries.
I made a list of the 10 things I enjoy doing during the Thanksgiving Holiday and Month of November.
- This is the time we go through our summer and winter clothing and prepare items that we cannot fit anymore for the Salvation Army or the Goodwill.
- We start a coat drive. We ask the local church or early childhood school to allow us to set up a box for coats and winter items, that are new or gently used. These items go to women and children shelters.
- To show how thankful I am for my children’s books I like to volunteer at the library and read my books and give away some of my books, my favorite picture books, and my coloring books.
- For the month of November, I have my children do something nice, make something, do a kind gesture, or help their sibling with something. Sometimes it’s hard growing up in a large family, so this is always the perfect opportunity to show each other love. If your child does not have siblings extend this activity to friends or other family members.
- We have a craft day where we sit together as a family and create the table settings for our Thanksgiving brunch. There are so many ideas and creative ways to show thanks, using different types of materials.
- We write letters or make cards for family or friends who live in other states or countries. We write to show them how thankful we are that they are apart of our life, no matter how far away they are.
- We make care packages for the soldiers. My husband has been deployed and we are unfortunately preparing for another long term separation, so we understand first hand how sad it could be having your love one away during the holidays. We fill our care packages with things that we have bought, made, and created. We complete our packages with special cards and notes to show our men and women in uniform we are thinking about them and we are thankful for their service.
- I like to remind my children how fortunate they are and that being thankful and grateful for what you have is important. If possible we visit shelters and volunteer to do whatever is needed (the rules have changed a bit for volunteering, and sometimes we are not successful). Serving at a soup kitchen is not as easy as it use to be. This is also an opportunity for me to share documentaries with them, that paint a very realistic picture of poverty. I remind them that this can happen to anyone, including us. The question I ask is, wouldn’t you want someone to care about you?
- I have them pick their charity for the year or create one on their own. This is a fun and educational journey. The more love they put into it the more they are able to give wholeheartedly and convince others to do the same.
- If we are lucky and the weather stays nice for us, we use this time to give back to our earth. We plant a tree and bulbs. We plant the bulbs not just in our yard but in family and friend yards who are fond of flowers. This is our second year doing this gesture of thanks and I love it. Seeing the flowers bloom in the Spring is great.
I would love to hear how you and your family give thanks.